2014, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Buk missile, Buk TELAR, Chechnya, combatant immunity, Donetsk, DPR, dual citizenship, Dubinskiy, Dutch ruling, extradition, Flight MH17, FSB, Girkin, GRU, Kharchenko, Kremlin, MH17, MH17 crash, Moscow, Netherlands, North Ossetia, organized crime, Putin, Putin’s dirty war, Rostov, Russia, Russian attack on civilian aircraft, Russian attack on civilians, Russian citizenship, Russian Federation, Russian Intelligence, Russian intelligence services, Russian invasion Ukraine, Russian mafia, Russian military intelligence, Russian Missile Strikes, Russian nationals, Russian Organized crime, Russian shelling Ukraine, Russian soldiers cross-border attacks, Russian supplies, Russian weapons, Surkov, Transnistria, Ukraine
“On 17 July 2014 Flight MH17 was shot down in Ukraine. As a result, 283 passengers and fifteen crew members were killed. In the view of the Court, it has been proven that Flight MH17 was hit by a Buk missile fired from a farm field near Pervomaiskyi in Ukraine. This field was located in separatist-controlled territory”. https://www.courtmh17.com/en/news/2022/summary-of-the-day-in-court-17-november-2022—judgment.html
A Dutch Court sentenced three people, Dubinskiy, Girkin, and Kharchenko to life imprisonment for murder in the Flight MH17 crash. It noted the “direct participation” of the “Russian Federation”. Two are Russian nationals (Dubinskiy and Girkin) and the third (Kharchenko) is a Russian speaking Ukrainian citizen, or former citizen, who presumably has Russian citizenship. Whether or not he held dual citizenship at the time is unclear. He appears to have had business interests in Russia. Based on the available evidence, one must suspect that Kharchenko is involved in Russian-Ukrainian organized crime. Russia won’t extradite them. Russia’s refusal to extradite their citizens is a reason that no one should do business with Russia or Russians or accept them into their countries, unless they renounce Russian citizenship. It’s clearly one reason that Russia is such a hub for criminals/organized crime. Even dual nationals can simply go hide in Russia after committing crimes. The Ukrainian involved probably had Russian citizenship (or certainly has it now).
It is interesting that if Russia admitted to its involved then the three would have had a sort of warfare immunity. However, since Russia won’t admit involvement, then they were sentenced to life in prison.
Excerpt from ruling:
“Several of the then leaders within the DPR have Russian nationality and a number of them also have a background in the Russian armed forces. For example, the then defense minister of the DPR, suspect Girkin, has Russian nationality, worked for the Russian intelligence service FSB and participated in the wars in Chechnya, Transnistria and Bosnia. His deputy in the DPR and “head of intelligence” of the DPR, suspect Dubinskiy, is also a Russian national, has a background in the Russian military intelligence service GRU and has participated in the wars in Afghanistan, North Ossetia and Chechnya. However, it is not clear in all cases in what capacity the leaders within the DPR were involved in the DPR.
Although several of them indicate that they were retired (in reserve) in the Russian Federation and came to Ukraine independently and voluntarily, it is not clear whether this is actually the case or whether they were sent there by the authorities of the Russian Federation. For some of them, at least on the basis of taped conversations, there seems to be a close connection with the Russian Federation.
For example, about the filling of several ministerial posts within the DPR, there was contact between leaders of the DPR and Surkov, at the time the closest adviser to Russian President Putin. In a tapped conversation of May 16, 2014, Borodai says that the government (of the DPR) will be announced, that Moscow has surprised him and that he is appointed Prime Minister, much to the disappointment of someone else who has come to Eastern Ukraine from Moscow. Shortly after this tapped conversation, Borodai was actually appointed prime minister of the DPR. Regarding the appointment of a named person for the position of Minister of the Interior, in a tapped conversation of May 15, 2014 between Borodai and the Chairman of the Supreme Council of the DPR, it is said that that candidate’suits Moscow’ and that the ‘Moscow Generals’ agree with that. In a conversation later that day of the same chairman of the Supreme Council, he said that the list of government posts of ‘the hero city’ should not be expanded and that one named person would in any case not be included in the Security Council , because Moscow has not approved him. The then minister of culture of the DPR also stated in a witness interview that the deputy prime ministers of the DPR came from Moscow and that they had a major influence on the functioning of the DPR.
Several DPR leaders maintained ties with persons from Russian intelligence services, the Presidential administration and advisers to the Kremlin around the time of the charges. In tapped conversations, reference is made regularly to contacting ‘Moscow’. An example is a conversation between Dubinskiy and Bezler on July 4, 2014, in which Dubinskiy tells that Girkin has been in contact with Moscow, but that Moscow does not want Sloviansk to be surrendered. The court also points to a conversation of Girkin on July 10, 2014, in which he tells Dubinskiy that he is constantly on the phone trying to get in touch with Moscow to report on the situation. Contacts were maintained with various high-ranking persons in the Russian Federation, sometimes also through special means of communication (‘the Glass’ ) and via secure telephones supplied from the Russian Federation. For example, Borodai, the leader of the DPR, had almost daily contact with Surkov in the period from 20 June 2014 to August 2014. In an interview dated June 16, 2014, Surkov is referred to as “our man in the Kremlin” by Borodai.
In the opinion of the court, these references to ‘Moscow’ and ‘ the hero city ‘ cannot be interpreted otherwise than as references to the seat of government, meaning the authorities of the Russian Federation.
In the contacts of DPR leaders with high-ranking persons within the Russian Federation, help was regularly requested, such as the required manpower, military equipment and training. This help was also provided.
In statements by representatives, reports and reports from organizations such as NATO, the UN Security Council, the US State Department, the OSCE and Human Rights Watch mention is made of supplying and arming separatists from the Russian Federation. Reference is made to convoys with military weapons that would have been brought across the border. This corresponds to what can be heard in tapped conversations. For example, Dubinskiy says in a tapped conversation on June 12, 2014 that it has become clear that Russia is providing aid, including heavy weapons, Kharchenko says in a conversation on June 20, 2014 to Dubinskiy that the second convoy that crossed the border is also not what they expected and on July 15, 2014, Girkin was expecting a shipment, a big thing that is very nice for ‘us’, to be accepted at the border. Although it is not always clear from taps whether these are weapons and goods from private providers or from the Russian government, the DPR Minister of Culture stated that requests from the DPR Council of Ministers for weapons were forwarded by Borodai to the GRU. After approval from the GRU, the weapons were distributed through the’Black Zero’ (the court understands: illegal border crossing) brought into Ukraine. The court also notes that NATO has repeatedly called on the Russian Federation to stop providing support and weapons to the Ukrainian separatists.
Witness statements also mention funding of the DPR by the Russian Federation. For example, it was stated by the then Minister of Labor and Welfare of the DPR that the person who arranged the funding received it with the cooperation of the Russian Presidential Administration and that the Russian Federation has been funding the DPR since at least the summer of 2014. Also in taped conversations talks about support coming from the Russian Federation. For example, in a conversation of July 13, 2014, a DPR fighter complains about things and salaries, to which it is answered that ‘they’ are going to Rostov today for a load. In the tapped conversations, there is often no direct mention of the source of the financing within the Russian Federation, other than the mention that this often goes through Rostov.
Various witness statements refer to military training for the fighters of the DPR that took place in the Russian Federation. This often involved training in (again the Russian place) Rostov. In tapped conversations, training sessions and a training camp are also discussed. In a July 2, 2014 wiretapping separatists talk about their urgent need for people and when the “camp men” will arrive here, and on July 3, 2014, a DPR fighter says that the boys are going to training “across the river”went. Here too, it is not always clear whether these training courses were given on a private basis or were set up by or on behalf of the Russian authorities. However, in a conversation by the then Minister of Defense of the LPR, with whom the DPR cooperated, there is a clear reference to the role of the Russian GRU in this. In that conversation of 15 July 2014, the minister was told about a training course being offered for ten people, after which the minister indicated that this should be done through the GRU. Some witness statements also show involvement in training by Russian authorities. For example, witness M58, about whom more later, states that he was taken to the FSB and then to a camp in Rostov, Russia, where he was trained. Then he was taken to the Donbas.
Coordination and instructions
For the question of whether there was overall controls especially important whether – regardless of the background of the DPR members and the support of the Russian Federation to the DPR – the Russian Federation has taken on a coordinating role and has issued instructions to the DPR. In the opinion of the court, the file contains a plethora of indications for this. As indicated above, there are many intercepted conversations in which reports are made to (persons working for) ‘Moscow’ about the situation in the field, such as setbacks and successes achieved. A number of tapped conversations also testify to planning on the part of the authorities of the Russian Federation. For example, in a wiretapped conversation of July 3, 2014, Surkov reported to Borodai that Antyufeev (court: shortly afterwards Deputy Prime Minister for State Security of the DPR) is heading towards Borodai and that ‘they’ will leave for the South on Saturday to be ready for battle. On July 11, 2014, Surkov then tells Borodai that he has spoken with those in charge of’this whole military story’ and that they have indicated that they are preparing and accelerating everything. And on July 10, 2014, a leader of the DPR calls to say that he has received an order in Moscow to form the first Novorossya Cossack Regiment.
In tapped conversations, the role of Moscow with regard to concrete operations is also discussed. In a July 4, 2014 tapped conversation regarding Sloviansk, a DPR executive says that there has been contact with Moscow, but that Moscow does not want Sloviansk to be surrendered. Because no concrete support was forthcoming, this order was not followed, as stated by the Minister of Defense of the DPR, suspect Girkin, in an interview of July 2014.
In a telephone conversation of 18 July 2014, two members of the DPR talk about the encirclement of a Ukrainian brigade, whereupon one of the two interlocutors indicates that he has had contact with Moscow and that Moscow has indicated that the lives of the soldiers must be spared. Also striking in this context is a series of telephone conversations between Borodai and a Russian number on July 21, 2014. Borodai wants to speak to the boss, but he is not available. Borodai asks – increasingly insistently – if the boss can call him back, as he needs advice and instructions on aspects of handling the MH17 disaster; for example with regard to the refrigerated trucks and the black box. In addition, Borodai would like to know talking points for a press conference. Borodai notes that he assumes that ‘our neighbours’ will want to say something about the matter. The circumstance that Borodai here speaks of ‘our neighbours’, and asks for ‘the boss’ when he himself is the highest rank in the DPR,
Direct participation Russian Federation
Reports and reports from various organizations refer to (artillery) shelling on Ukrainian territory, allegedly carried out from the Russian Federation. From the first half of July 2014, Russian soldiers would regularly move across the border and cross-border attacks would take place. In a study, the International Partnership for Human Rightsto artillery shelling near the border with the Russian Federation on a Ukrainian encampment in early July 2014, and in an official report dated 16 November 2016, the Military Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) also states that between 11 July 2014 and 17 July 2014 rocket artillery units from Ukrainian territory near the Russian border has been shot at unknown targets in Ukraine. According to the report, the traces of driving and firing found show that artillery installations entered Ukraine from Russian territory. Witnesses also testified about Russian equipment manned by Russian soldiers, crossing the border, firing and then driving back. In addition, intercepted conversations confirm the existence of such attacks. For example, in a tapped conversation of July 12, 2014 between two members of the DPR, it is said that Russia has finally started opening fire on the Ukrainian armed forces. In a tapped conversation of July 16, 2014, two DPR members, namely the suspects Dubinskiy and Pulatov, talk about the problems they have because they are under fire. Pulatov indicates that Russia can go wild, to which Dubinskiy replies that he has indicated positions on the map that will be sent to Moscow. In a conversation of July 17, 2014, suspect Dubinskiy says that Russia would fire on their positions from her side. The aforementioned conversations are only examples of several similar tapped conversations in the file. All this indicates not only some form of parallel direct involvement,
The Russian authorities have so far denied any involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine at the time. However, with reference to the foregoing, the court considers that the file clearly shows that the Russian Federation has provided financing for the DPR, the supply and training of troops and the supply of weapons and goods. In addition, from at least mid-May 2014, the Russian Federation has had a decisive influence on the filling of several senior positions within the DPR, including those of Prime Minister and Minister of Defence. With this, the Russian authorities have had considerable influence over the DPR regime.
In view of the foregoing, the court concludes that the Russian Federation exercised overall control over the DPR from mid-May 2014 until at least the crash of flight MH17. This internationalizes the geographically non-international armed conflict and thus becomes an international armed conflict after all.
The court therefore concludes that on 17 July 2014 an international armed conflict took place on the territory of Ukraine between Ukraine and the DPR, which was under the overall control of the Russian Federation.
184.108.40.206.4 Combatant status
Now that the conflict between Ukraine and the DPR must be seen as an international armed conflict, the provisions of international humanitarian law regarding combatant status apply. The court is therefore faced with the question of whether members of the DPR can claim such a status.
Member of the Armed Forces of the DPR – Article 43 API Combatant Definition
Under the provisions of Article 43 of the First Additional Protocol to the Geneva Conventions, members of the DPR can only be regarded as combatants and thus have the ‘right’ to take part in hostilities only if they are members of the armed forces of one of the warring states, in this case of the Russian Federation. The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation can be seen in this context as all organized armed forces, groups and units under a command responsible to the Russian Federation for the conduct of subordinates. In addition, these armed forces must be subject to an internal martial law system which, among other things, must ensure compliance with the rules of international law.
The court states first and foremost that the DPR was not part of the official armed forces of the Russian Federation, but that – as it has established above – overall control was exercised by the Russian Federation. However, this determination of overall control is in itself insufficient to conclude that there is standing under an order that is responsible to the Russian Federation for the behavior of subordinates. For this, the Russian Federation must also accept the DPR as belonging to it and take responsibility for the behavior and actions of the fighters (under the command) of the DPR.
The court finds that this is not the case, since the Russian Federation has denied any control of and involvement with the DPR in that period to this day and the suspects have also publicly denied that they were part of the armed forces of the Russian Federation at the time. Federation. The fighters of the DPR can therefore not be seen as part of the armed forces of the Russian Federation.
Since the DPR cannot be regarded as part of the armed forces of the Russian Federation, the members of the DPR cannot be regarded as belonging to those armed forces. For that reason alone, they are not entitled to participation in hostilities and therefore not to immunity from prosecution. The court therefore no longer has time to consider the other requirements for the possible invocation of immunity, such as the question of whether the suspects have properly complied with the rules of international humanitarian law.
The court considers superfluously that it is argued in the literature that an assessment should also be made against the criteria of Article 4 under A of the Third Geneva Convention (GCIII) when assessing whether the suspects are entitled to a combatant’s privilege. The court is of the opinion that this is incorrect. This article does not deal with combatants and their privileges and immunities, but with the status of prisoners of war.
The court concludes that there has been no evidence of a limitation of the jurisdiction provisions under international law. The public prosecutor is therefore admissible in his prosecution.
Since the condition set by the Public Prosecution Service in its conditional request relating to the subject of combatant immunity has not been met, that request requires no further discussion…
The suspect Kharchenko, of Ukrainian nationality 190 , is known by the (nick)names Krot, Leonid and Lionia, as follows from the combination of information known about Kharchenko from his criminal record, the mortgage register and an information report from the Ukrainian SBU, in combination with recorded telephone conversations on the telephone numbers ending with -7518 and -5197. 191 In those conversations, these names are used by the caller and mentioned when providing his personal data. In addition, there is voice recognition. 192 That is why the court classifies suspect Kharchenko as a user of those telephone numbers. In conversations via those telephone numbers, suspect Kharchenko indicates that he is the military commander of Kostiantynivka, of the Separate Reconnaissance Battalion of Khmury’s unit. 193 Confirmation that Kharchenko had that role and position is found in an interview published on April 11, 2015, in which the interviewee indicates that he carried out his first combat mission in May in the Intelligence Unit established by Dubinskiy on May 20 (the court always understands: 2014). the DPR. 194 The person interviewed introduces himself as Leonid Vladimirovich Kharchenko, resembles the man in the photo from Kharchenko’s criminal record, according to the reporting officer, and according to a reporting officer who speaks the Russian language, his voice also sounds like that of the user of the telephone number. ending in -7518. 196On July 5, 2014, the separatists were driven out of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk and Kostiantynivka and moved towards Donetsk. From a tapped conversation of 6 July 2014 between Dubinskiy and Kharchenko, it can be deduced that Kharchenko was then assigned to Dubinskiy’s command. 197 Suspect Kharchenko also says in the aforementioned interview that he and his men fought in many places, including Dmytrivka and Marynivka. 198
On the basis of the foregoing, viewed in mutual relation and cohesion, the court is not only of the opinion that the suspects are always users of the aforementioned telephone numbers attributed to them, but also that they are the participants in the conversations conducted via those telephone numbers, unless indicated otherwise. In addition, the court finds that all tapped conversations it uses for evidence that it attributes to the suspects were conducted with the telephone numbers mentioned above…” https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:12218&showbutton=true&keyword=ECLI%3aNL%3aRBDHA%3a2022%3a12218/
“Russians found guilty of shooting down MH17 plane murdering 298 in landmark verdict” https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-russians-found-guilty-shooting-28515062
Excerpt from News Release, 17 November 2022: https://www.courtmh17.com/en/news/2022/summary-of-the-day-in-court-17-november-2022—judgment.html
“Abundant indications reveal that from mid May 2014, the DPR in fact took directions from the Russian Federation. As a result, the involvement of the Russian Federation in the conflict with Ukraine led the conflict to become an international one. In an international conflict, deployment of weapons may be allowed under certain circumstances. Soldiers from those countries may then invoke immunity (combatant immunity) and shall not be subject to criminal prosecution. However, as the Russian Federation and the accused deny such Russian involvement to this day, the DPR fighters cannot be considered to be part of the Russian armed forces. Therefore, they may not be granted immunity from prosecution…
The question as to why the crew of the Buk TELAR aimed the Buk missile at Flight MH17 remains unanswered. This does not change the fact that the Buk missile was intentionally fired and aimed at an aircraft. A Buk weapon system is designed to shoot down aircraft and cannot simply be used at random. Such deployment requires preparation, including determination of and transport to a launch site. Firing the missile needs to be very deliberate and carefully considered in accordance with a technical procedure and requires a highly trained crew…” https://www.courtmh17.com/en/news/2022/summary-of-the-day-in-court-17-november-2022—judgment.html
Kharchenko is reportedly from the industrial town of Kostiantynivka, Ukraine.
However, it looks like Kharchenko was already working in Russia, unless this is a different guy with the same name: https://www.readyratios.com/profile/fl/773463233629_kravchenko-leonid-vladimirovich
Based on an apparent connection to “Motor Invest” one can hypothesize that he was involved with illegal export of “Motor Sich” motors from Ukraine: https://www.readyratios.com/profile/1037739431311_blagotvoritelnyy-fond-molodezhnaya-sluzhba-miloserdiya This may come up in the investigation of the President of Motor Sich.
Kostiantynivka was made into a Russian speaking town during its industrialization process. Moving Russians from Russia to other countries has long been part of its politics of socio-political control of natives of Russian occupied lands:
“Kostiantynivka (Ukrainian: Костянтинівка, pronounced [kosʲtʲɐnˈtɪn⁽ʲ⁾iu̯kɐ]; Russian: Константиновка) is an industrial city in the Donetsk Oblast (province) of eastern Ukraine, on the Kryvyi Torets [uk] river. Administratively, it is incorporated as a city of oblast significance. It also serves as the administrative center of Kostiantynivka Raion (district), though it does not belong to it. It’s also known as Kostyantynivka or Konstantinovka. It developed in the Soviet era into a major centre for the production of iron, zinc, steel and glass. Its population is approximately 67,350 (2022 est.)….
As of the Ukrainian Census of 2001:
* Ukrainians: 59.3%
* Russians: 37.7%
* Armenians: 1.0%
* Belarusians: 0.5%
* Azerbaijanis: 0.3%
* Jews: 0.2%
* Russian: 78.1%
* Ukrainian: 21.0%
* Armenian: 0.5%
* Belarusian: 0.1%” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kostiantynivka
“Summary of the day in court: 17 November 2022 – Judgment
The Court delivered the verdict today.
Today the Court sentenced the accused Kharchenko, Dubinskiy and Girkin to life imprisonment for causing Flight MH17 to crash and for the murder of the 298 persons on board. Defendant Pulatov has been acquitted.
The text delivered by the Court today has been published on rechtspraak.nl. https://www.rechtspraak.nl/Organisatie-en-contact/Organisatie/Rechtbanken/Rechtbank-Den-Haag/Nieuws/Paginas/MH17.aspx/
The press release appears below.
Life imprisonment for causing Flight MH17 to crash and for the murders of the 298 persons on board
Today the District Court of The Hague, sitting in the MH17 criminal case, sentenced accused Kharchenko, Dubinskiy and Girkin to life imprisonment for causing the crash of Flight MH17 and the murder of the 298 persons on board. Defendant Pulatov has been acquitted.
Weapon and place
On 17 July 2014 Flight MH17 was shot down in Ukraine. As a result, 283 passengers and fifteen crew members were killed. In the view of the Court, it has been proven that Flight MH17 was hit by a Buk missile fired from a farm field near Pervomaiskyi in Ukraine. This field was located in separatist-controlled territory.
The Court has no doubt whatsoever that the MH17 was hit by a Buk missile fired from this farm field. This is clear from photographs of a smoke trail in the sky, statements by a protected witness, satellite images, intercepted telephone conversations and transmission mast data, photographs and videos of a Buk TELAR being brought in and removed, and examination of fragments in the remains of a crew member and in the truss and the groove of the aircraft. Investigation in the Netherlands and abroad has not revealed any traces of evidence tampering. Alternative scenarios, for example that the Buk missile was fired from a different area, are ruled out based on the evidence.
The Court has established that from April 2014 an armed conflict was in progress between the Ukrainian armed forces and separatist groups. One of those groups was fighting under the name Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).
Abundant indications reveal that from mid May 2014, the DPR in fact took directions from the Russian Federation. As a result, the involvement of the Russian Federation in the conflict with Ukraine led the conflict to become an international one. In an international conflict, deployment of weapons may be allowed under certain circumstances. Soldiers from those countries may then invoke immunity (combatant immunity) and shall not be subject to criminal prosecution. However, as the Russian Federation and the accused deny such Russian involvement to this day, the DPR fighters cannot be considered to be part of the Russian armed forces. Therefore, they may not be granted immunity from prosecution.
Intent and premeditation
The question as to why the crew of the Buk TELAR aimed the Buk missile at Flight MH17 remains unanswered. This does not change the fact that the Buk missile was intentionally fired and aimed at an aircraft. A Buk weapon system is designed to shoot down aircraft and cannot simply be used at random. Such deployment requires preparation, including determination of and transport to a launch site. Firing the missile needs to be very deliberate and carefully considered in accordance with a technical procedure and requires a highly trained crew. The likelihood of persons on board an aircraft surviving an attack by a Buk missile is nil. Anybody who deploys a specialized, costly weapon such as a Buk TELAR will be aware of this. The crew appears to have thought the missile was being fired not at a civilian but at a military aircraft. Even in that case, there is intent and premeditation to shoot down that aircraft and take the lives of those on board.
Roles of the accused Kharchenko, Dubinskiy and Girkin
Firing a Buk missile is possible, only if the Buk TELAR is available and is placed on a suitable launch site. Accompanying and guarding a Buk TELAR while in transit to and at the suitable site is therefore a crucial task. In the opinion of the Court those entrusted with such a responsibility have such an essential role in the deployment of the Buk TELAR and in ultimately firing the Buk missile, that they may be regarded as co-perpetrators.
The Buk TELAR was brought to Ukraine at the initiative of the accused Dubinskiy, as commanding officer within the DPR. He was directly in charge of organizing and directing the transport of the Buk TELAR to and from the launch site. With respect to that transport, the accused Kharchenko had a direct and active role as executive commander, who in fact provided and arranged for the Buk TELAR to be accompanied. Kharchenko also ensured that the Buk TELAR was guarded and protected at the ultimate launch site. These active contributions on his part were so important for firing the Buk missile, that Dubinskiy and Kharchenko worked closely and deliberately as co-perpetrators together and with the crew of the Buk TELAR in the downing of Flight MH17.
Girkin was highest DPR military leader in operational terms and as such bore (final) responsibility for deployment of military resources in and for the DPR. Although highly plausible by virtue of his position, it has not been proven that Girkin had advance knowledge of the availability of the Buk TELAR that caused Flight MH17 to crash. As the highest-ranking military officer, however, he had the opportunity to decide whether to deploy a Buk TELAR. It may also be said that he found deploying this Buk TELAR and the consequence of fatalities to be acceptable. After all, extensive combat was already taking place under his authority, including downing aircraft and helicopters. He also actively endeavoured to make the Buk TELAR used on 17 July 2014 disappear as quickly as possible, rather than condemning its use. Because of his role, he is held to be responsible for causing the crash of Flight MH17 and the murders of the 298 persons on board.
Acquittal of defendant Pulatov
Pulatov was area commander and was tasked with maintaining a corridor from and to the Russian Federation. Defendant Pulatov was aware of the arrival and presence of the Buk TELAR. He met with the accused Kharchenko when he was accompanying the Buk TELAR and saw the Buk. What transpired or was said during that encounter remains unknown, and Kharchenko travelled on afterwards with the Buk TELAR without Pulatov. There is no evidence of active or crucial involvement on the part of Pulatov in deploying the Buk TELAR or in the assignment that accused Dubinskiy gave Kharchenko. Pulatov is known not to have been in the vicinity of the launch site at or around the moment that the Buk TELAR fired the missile. Nor are there any indications that he could have changed anything about this. He has therefore been acquitted.
Sentences of the accused Kharchenko, Dubinskiy and Girkin
The downing of Flight MH17 caused devastating destruction and took the lives of 298 people, with unforeseeably serious consequences for the relatives. The Court qualifies the attitude and dispositions of Kharchenko, Dubinskiy and Girkin, who have merely responded to the accusations from afar, as disrespectful and unnecessarily hurtful to the relatives. Causing the crash of Flight MH17 and the murders of all persons on board is such a serious accusation, the consequences are so devastating, and the attitude of the accused is so reprehensible, that a limited period of imprisonment will not suffice. All three accused are sentenced to life imprisonment. The Court has ordered the arrest of those convicted.
Claims for compensation
The 306 claims for compensation have been assessed according to Ukrainian law. Compensation for moral damages, including emotional damages, is granted for a total amount exceeding 16 million euros.
Under Ukrainian law same-sex partners are not entitled to claim compensation. The Court is not applying that exclusion, as it would violate the prohibition on discrimination.
The Prosecution has agreed that the reconstruction will remain available for additional investigation, until the judgments in these criminal cases have become final and conclusive.
Judgment Kharchenko https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:12218&showbutton=true&keyword=ECLI%3aNL%3aRBDHA%3a2022%3a12218/
Judgment Dubinskiy https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:12216&showbutton=true&keyword=ECLI+NL%3aRBDHA%3a2022%3a12216/
Judgment Girkin https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:12217&showbutton=true&keyword=ECLI+NL%3aRBDHA%3a2022%3a12217/
Judgment Pulatov https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/inziendocument?id=ECLI:NL:RBDHA:2022:12219&showbutton=true&keyword=ECLI%3aNL%3aRBDHA%3a2022%3a12219/
The operative paragraphs in English https://www.courtmh17.com/en/news/2022/the-operative-paragraphs_english.html
The operative paragraphs in Russian https://www.courtmh17.com/en/news/2022/the-operative-paragraphs_russian.html
Published 17 November 2022, 16:59 CET
SOURCE: DISTRICT COURT OF THE HAGUE“ https://www.courtmh17.com/en/news/2022/summary-of-the-day-in-court-17-november-2022—judgment.html
“Verdict in MH17 case: Kharchenko, Dubinsky, Girkin found guilty of shooting down passenger jet, Pulatov acquitted https://www.ukrinform.net
In The Hague, the court hearing the case of the MH17 downing handed down the verdict on Thursday, November 17.
Presiding Judge Hendrik Steinhuis announced that former FSB operative, former “Minister of Defense of the DPR” Igor Girkin (aka Strelkov), General, at the time of the downing Colonel of the GRU of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, head of the “GRU of the DPR” Sergei Dubinsky, and a citizen of Ukraine Leonid Kharchenko, who fought on the side of the “DPR”, have been found guilty of shooting down the plane and killing all 298 people on board.
That’s according to Ukrinform’s own correspondent in The Hague.
Russian national, Lieutenant Colonel of the GRU, Oleg Pulatov, has been acquitted.
The court sentenced Kharchenko, Dubinsky, and Girkin to life imprisonment and ordered that they be detained. The court recognizes Pulatov as innocent,” said presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis.
The court acquitted Pulatov as no evidence had been found that Pulatov contributed to the performance of the task given to Dubinsky and Pulatov. The latter has no functional connection to this case, the court ruled”. https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-crime/3616668-verdict-in-mh17-case-kharchenko-dubinsky-girkin-found-guilty-of-shooting-down-passenger-jet-pulatov-acquitted.html
Investigation details link: https://web.archive.org/web/20200123133623/https://www.om.nl/onderwerpen/mh17-crash/@96066/presentation/
“Who are the suspects accused of bringing down MH17?
The Dutch Public Prosecution Service prosecutes the following persons:
* Igor Vsevolodovich GIRKIN (17-12-1970)
Igor Girkin also known as Strelkov or Perviy, is a former colonel of the FSB, the Russian Federal Security Service. On the 17th of July 2014, Girkin was Minister of Defence and commander of the army of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. Flight MH17 was shot down from this area. As the highest military officer he maintained contact with the Russian Federation.
* Sergey Nikolayevich DUBINSKIY (09-08-1962)
Sergey Dubinskiy, nicknamed Khmuriy, is a former military officer of the GRU, the Russian military intelligence service. Dubinskiy was one of Girkin’s deputies in 2014 and also head of the intelligence service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic. He also maintained regular contact with officials in Russia.
* Oleg Yuldashevich PULATOV (24-07-1966)
Oleg Pulatov, also known as Giurza, is a former military officer of the Russian Spetznaz-GRU, the special units of the Russian military intelligence service. In 2014, Pulatov was deputy head of the intelligence service of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic and one of the deputies of Dubinskiy.
* Leonid Volodymyrovych KHARCHENKO (10-01-1972)
Leonid Kharchenko, also known as Krot, is the only Ukrainian suspect. He has no military background. He received his orders directly from Dubinskiy and in July 2014 he was commander of a combat unit in the Donetsk region. At that time, there was an armed conflict in that area between pro-Russian fighters and the Ukrainian armed forces.
“The case will be tried in absentia as none of the suspects will appear at the Dutch court. Russia does not extradite its own citizens.“ https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-28357880